Greatest Judas Priest Albums

Zezerex

The Top Ten

1 Painkiller

BEST METAL ALBUM EVER. Well this is clearly the greatest metal album ever from the best metal band JUDAS PRIEST. Its only competition is defenders of the faith which is still quite far behind this
Song ranking
1. Touch of Evil (also my all time favorite song
2. PainKiller
3. Metal Meltdown
4. All Guns Blazing
5. Night Crawler
6. Hell Patrol
7. Shot at Glory
8. Between the Hammer and the Anvil
9. Leather Rebel
10. Living Bad Dreams

Solid album. I like every track on this album, but what really stands out to me is the self titled track, Pain Killer. I'd rank this within my top 10 metal tracks, a true eargasm.

I had heard a couple of Priest album despite my young age (6 years) But when I heard this I was completely blown away by the hard and fast paced sound, not to mention the darker themes. The production sounds as good today as it did back then.

A must have for any metal fan.

From start to finish pumps.

V 28 Comments
2 Screaming for Vengeance

When I first heard this album at the age of 14 I was blown away. The songs were so fast and hard. I never heard anything like up until that point. Screaming For Vengence followed by You Got Another Thing Coming really got me into metal. Although this album is ranked number 2, for me it is their best album. It set the tone for all their other albums to follow.

If you thought this was the best album, then you've got another thing coming. First there was British Steel, and then there was Painkiller. Then there was Defenders of the Faith. If you think this was the best album, then do not start screaming for vengeance.

Hard to believe they put this out the year after Point of Entry (which is underrated by the way). To me this album cemented their legacy though they've continued to put out great music. From start to finish this is the best Priest album in my opinion.

Definitely one of the greatest heavy metal albums of all time!

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3 Defenders of the Faith

Great songs like the sentinel and freewheel burning it makes me in goose pumps all time I hear this albums songs maybe greatest album ever made

One of my top metal albums from any band! Its got everything from screaming metal to great heavy rock. Love it!

After Painkiller it's the best Judas Priest's album. The Sentinel, Freewheel Burning, Rock Hard Ride Free - epic songs! M/

First Priest album I listened to was Painkiller as I was a fan of the heavier, thrashier sound of 'tallica, Megadeth and Slayer. But right after listening to this album for the first time, I was completely MINDBLOWN and I have been fully convinced that Priest is the best metal band of all time due to its variety. (I have listened to their other albums)

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4 Sad Wings of Destiny

This was a pivotal moment in the history of heavy metal. After the initial rush of bands that emerged in 1970 out of Great Britain, this was the next most crucial development in the genre and it was spearheaded by one band.

Judas Priest establish themselves in a unique position setting a bar impossibly high with complex songwriting, intricate musicianship and a vocalist that sounded unlike any other up until that point in time. The album opener, "Victim of Changes" would effectively set up the band's career and remains arguably the best song they ever wrote.

Without this album, the NWOBHM would not have been possible and subsequently, the thrash, speed, power and later, death metal genres. This is a monumental piece of work and the beginning of the band's golden age in the 1970s, an era that has yet to be equaled in quality.

The cornerstone record that defined and solidified the Priest sound. Dark, doom laden, downright evil riffs drive this record. Halford's tremendous vocal range rips through the speakers supported by the twin lead guitars. Taking the genre started by Black Sabbath to a faster and more metallic place, this album defined the evolution of heavy metal. The highlight, and defining song, Victim of Changes is simply one of the greatest songs on one of the greatest heavy metal albums of all time. JP's number seminal album that started it all. To quote lyrics on a much later record, this was the birth of the "Armor plated raging beast, the spawn of steel and leather, that will survive against all odds, stampeding on forever."

The best Judas Priest song for many reasons such as every single song ranging from very good to unbelievable. But the other main reason is for the simple fact that this is probably the greatest vocal performance ever achieved on an album. Rob Halford shows off his voice range through out every song. His voice is beautiful and this album is a showcase to that god like talent. - metalmaiden

1. Sad Wings of Destiny
2. Defenders Of Faith
3. Stained Class
4. Screening For Vengeance
5. British Steel
6. Painkiller (The tittle track is Priest’s best
song)
7. Sin After Sin
8. Hell Bent for Leather
9. Firepower
10. Angel of Retribution - Ninjaturtlesforpresident

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5 British Steel

This album, kind of like Maiden's Number of the Beast, gets called overrated just because it's their most popular. But there are too many great songs on this album to not appreciate it. There's the obvious ones like Metal Gods, Breaking the Law, and Living After Midnight, but also look out for the unappreciated gems. The Rage, for instance... I've never heard anything like it before and it's one of the most emotional vocal performances Halford ever gave, but no one ever talks about it.

This album defines Judas Priest's best work. Plus, Breaking the Law and Living After Midnight are two of the most famous songs Priest has, and Metal Gods is terrific as well. Why the heck is this album #5?! Makes no sense. It has to be their number 1

A ground-breaking record by the Metal Gods

Great combination of NWOBHM and punk (yeah right! ). speed metalwouldnt be w/o British steel

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6 Stained Class

Dark, no fillers, and "Beyond the Realms of Death" is Priest's best song.

The twin lead guitars really get to shine here when compared to, for example, British Steel or Screaming for Vengeance and Beyond the Realms of Death is simply the best Priest song ever. Sound quality is honestly sometimes pretty bad (Saints in Hell, I'm looking at you) but THAT should not be a reason to not like the album - soturi570

Are you kidding me? Stained Class only ranked at 6? This is an ultimate heavy metal classic album, it gave birth to speed metal and to the new wave of British heavy metal. Heroes End, Savage, Saints in hell, Stained Class, white heat red hot and Exciter are absolute masterpieces of Heavy metal. It is their best album with Sad wings of destiny.

Their 10 or so best songs are split between stained class and sad wings.

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7 Redeemer of Souls

The only reason this is far down is because it just came out. This album deserves to be in the top ten for sure.

Should be 2nd only to painkiller. this album has some great heavy tracks such as "halls of valhalla", "battle cry", "march of the damned", and "redeemer of souls". actually all of the tracks are awesome, but these are the best. "beginning of the end" is a really epic song too, it just fits perfectly in this album.

Hell and back is awesome too. At least you recognize how amazing this album is. - Sabbath

This album establishes Halford as the true metal god. The best work of his illustrious career. Simply aeesome. Imagine if you wil three 60 something metal stars and a fairly new drummer and a brand new guitarist getting together and making there greatest work ever. Got it in your mibd yet? Good listen to this album and you'll hear it. Unbelievable!

First 4 songs get you hooked

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8 Hell Bent for Leather

I have this one, Actually it is called Killing Machine (the one I have on vinyl) and I really like this record. It got very nice songs like: Before the dawn, Running Wild, Hell Bent for Leather, Burnin' up. Good songs and very good vocals! It was my first record of Judas Priest! And it is still awesome! I can listen to it all-day. Judas Priest is still rocking of course!

Unquestionably Judas Priest's best album of the 70's. It's where they defined their general sound and atmosphere, mixing the unrelenting instrumental attack of Stained Class with the Halford-centric British Steel. All classics from beginning to end. And zero filler.

This was my first Judas Priest Album. It was so unique and powerful. The Dueling guitars changed my life. My friends thought they had 2 singers in the band. Rob is God, his vocals are impeccable!

Best heavy metal album ever - Souleater318

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9 Sin After Sin

Solid record, Simon Phillips drumming makes a huge difference. Sin After Sin and Sad Wings were amazing albums.
You'll either like the stuff before Hell Bent or after. If you like Black Sabbath, UFO, Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple, Rainbow, then you will like the earlier stuff. If you like Metallica, Ratt, and Motley Crue you will like the later.

Sin and Wings are FAR SUPERIOR to ANYTHING else they released in studio.

Diamonds and rust is perfection

The guitar tones and playing on this is album is fantastic. I think Halfords voice is great on this also. Great songs also.

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10 Ram It Down

Has always been badly underrated because it's sandwiched between the most hated (Turbo) and most loved (Painkiller) albums of Priest's discography.

Drum machine? No problem. Most energetic album along with Painkiller. True heavy metal sound and expression.

Come on, if you can get past the drum machine, you get a great album.

Should be Above Turbo - christangrant

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The Contenders

11 Unleashed In the East

I had this album back in the day and loved listening it. It's worth listening to now just for "The Green Manalishi" alone. Wish I had seen them live when they young. I recently bought this album used as my first copy got lost over the years. Still sounds great. One of the best "live" metal recordings out there.

'Unleashed in the studio' it may be - but it's still Priest's best work.

Unquestionably one the greatest live collections by any band ever. Every song a classic, why this is at 12 is a joke. Although very good most high ratings on this poll are for 80's JP when their best work was clearly in the 70's

Exciting from first to last second. All songs great. I love it!

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12 Nostradamus

HOW IS NOSTRADAMUS 13TH?! God, listen to the songs and then vote please. The songs are consistently good in this album, unlike stained glass, or hell bent for leather which have only a few great songs. British Steel is THE most overrated album. Breaking the law isn't great and nor as living after midnight. In Nostradamus, the eponymous song, prophesy, exiled, alone, visions, conquest... The list is endless.
Also vote for Angel Of Retribution - a heavy metal masterpiece. The eponymous song, judas rising, revolution. They characterize not Judas Priest but the heavy metal genre which this band is a pioneer of.

Only a few great songs in Hell Bent for Leather and Stained Class, and as an alternative you prefer Nostradamus? What the hell is wrong with you? You must be getting the albums mixed up, because if there's anything that can describe Nostradamus it's that there are a few good songs. There's so much filler it isn't even funny and it's so hard to listen to the whole thing in one go. Of course there are some good songs on it, but for every solid track there's at least 2 pointless ones. - dubsinthetubs

This album is so underrated it's ridiculous. This album tells a very vivid story about the prophet Nostradamus and does a great job doing it. This album was an emotional roller coaster, making me feel empowered at some songs and making me cry at others. People dismiss this album as bad because it is not all heavy like painkiller, but when you sit down and listen to it in its entirety, it is truly a masterpiece. It is not my absolute favorite, but it is way to low on this list, so I voted for it anyway.

The whole way through, a great album. The concept really adds a mesmerizing element to it, and the songs are undeniably awesome. The only reason that it's underappreciated is because people don't TRY to listen to the newer stuff from decades-old metal bands. Same case with Iron Maiden, Overkill (who used to cover Priest), Motorhead and Testament (who have played alongside Priest).

Just shows how ballsy Priest is to do a concept album this late in it's carrier. - SoldierOfFortune

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13 Turbo

Great glam metal from the Priest. Showing how dynamic this band can be. As with Painkiller four years later.

Are you nuts? This is on the list instead of British Steel?

One of the few that likes this a lot. Hey it's was the 80's

Glam days of Priest. People hate it because of the overload of cheese, but that's why I love it. - SoldierOfFortune

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14 Firepower Firepower

OK, now it's out. These guys haven't let up a bit. Halford wails and screams and it's spectacular. Too bad about Tipton not touring but all the guitar work, bass and drums is exactly what you would expect from Priest, first class and then some. However, here is the thing that will make this album stand out. The song writing is off the charts. Can this band that has been around for 40 plus years continue to lay down their best work in there very twilight of their careers? Give this masterpiece a listen and you will agree with me, the answer is a resounding HELL YES! Try, I dare you, to find a song that isn't far above average anywhere on this album. I can name a few that stand out (Chilldren of The Son, Never The Heroes, Traitor's Gate) but honestly there is not a bad cut on this album Nothing Even resembling it.

One of Priest's best albums Rising From Ruins is amazing and Traitors Gate. Then there is No Surrender which is on repeat all the time.

I can tell it has high potential. Lightning Strike, on youtube, is awesome. - SoldierOfFortune

Priest's best album since Painkiller. Every song on this thing rocks.

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15 Angel of Retribution

The best of their recent albums in my opinion, it has great tracks like Judas Rising, Revolution and Angel. It also marked the return of Rob Halford who left the band shortly after Painkiller. It should be in the top ten of this list for sure.

Wow currently #14 on list, I guess a lot of people don't know this one because it's newer. Give it a few listens you'll be glad you did. - metalhank

I just love this album, so many good songs

Should be in the top ten as it's more solid then Ram it Down or Turbo

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16 Killing Machine

Killing machine and hell bent for leather are the same albums duh! - Sabbath

It would have been in the top five if the votes were not split

Uh... It's already on the list.

This must be in the top 5

17 Live in London
18 '98 Live Meltdown
19 Rocka Rolla

Their most underrated album. Listen to Rocka Rolla, Never Satisfied, Run Of The Mill, and One For The Road.

No love for Rocka Rolla? Classic 70s Priest with more interesting and creative songs than in the 80s (not saying those were bad)

20 Jugulator

A very underrated album, often given a poor rating because it's the first album missing Rob Halford and the style of the bands music was much heavier due in part to the long gap between this album and Painkiller. Tim Ripper Owens features on this album and delivers strong vocals, he's since gone on to front great band's such as Iced Earth, Beyond Fear and Dio Disciples. Songs like Burn in Hell, Blood Stained and the title track all being great examples.

Several aspects make the sound of this album - thrash, groove, speed, death, traditional, etc.. Judas Priest blends it perfectly and creates their heaviest album, a metal monster they unleashed on the world when it was thought heavy metal was a dying genre. Well, albums like this proved the world wrong.

Deserves far more attention. Demolition too, they're both great albums. Neither is the best, but just because they don't have Halford them it doesn't mean it's bad. - DesL42

I don’t hate this album because it’s not Rob Halford. I hate it because it’s Tim “Ripper” Owens. I hate him. I hate his vocals, I hate him as a person. The only good song he made with Judas Priest is Jugulator, AND IT’S NOT ON SPOTIFY

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21 Priest...Live!
22 Live Insurrection

Live insurrection is a great album with 28 song of awsomeness some songs are not Judas Priest and some are Judas Priest other then that this album Halford blew the roof off the stage

23 Point of Entry

Some people think Stained Class is Priest's most underrated album, however I think Point of Entry earns that merit. Sure, some of the songs don't have that Priest feel to them but nonetheless they are still good. Songs like Turning Circles, Solar Angels, Troubleshooter, and On The Run are very underrated gems. 8/10

15th, come on! Great songs: Heading Out To The highway, Hot rocking' and the rest are all very listenable. Deserves to be in top ten for sure - metalhank

This a really good album should be a lot higher than this

Album should be much higher up in the ranking. Good songs but could've been mixed a little better in my opinion. Solar Angels! picked up where Screaming left off...

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24 Demolition

This album has some killer tracks, but I'm not sure if they beat killer tracks from other albums; irregardless, this is probably Judas Priest's most solid album, only rivaled by Sad Wings of Destiny and Stained Class (to which Demolition beats both courtesy of production). Owens is great, the guitars sound excellent, and the drums are varied and support the music well.

The album was great, the reason it is not on top of the list it's because Ripper is the singer not Holford.

You gave it a bad review because the singer doesn't like his ass packed with Hog? Lame. Their best album was Jugulator.

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List Stats

2,000 votes
24 listings
8 years, 274 days old

Top Remixes (46)

1. British Steel
2. Screaming for Vengeance
3. Defenders of the Faith
Metalhead16
1. Defenders of the Faith
2. Painkiller
3. Sad Wings of Destiny
UnionX
1. Defenders of the Faith
2. Screaming for Vengeance
3. Painkiller
metalhank

WRemix
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"Painkiller" Album Review
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